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All gems are valued based on their rarity (as are most things in life). But diamonds are abundant. Extraordinarily abundant. The De Beers cartel has enormous vaults where they keep most of the world's supply of diamonds. If these ever got released into the market, the monopoly would be over, and diamonds would be worth next to nothing. Diamonds are artificially high and can be purchased in most African countries for as low as $15 per carat (rough cut).They are literally a pretty rock.

Retail jewelers mark up diamond engagement rings by an average of 300% up to a staggering 1000%. The estimates on markups are broad, but most of the reliable sources we've seen indicate that 300% is the usual markup. Your acquaintance who says he bought a $10,000 ring for $1,000 might be on the level. While a 1000% markup is not typical, it's not unheard-of.

Diamonds also have no resale value. The reason a "diamond is forever" is because you're basically stuck with it. You'll never be able to resell it except to a pawn shop. Even a jeweler (the few who would be willing to buy it) would offer a fraction of what you paid.

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Q: How abundant are diamonds in the world?
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